National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney issued the following statement about the Food and Drug Administration's release of the final menu labeling regulations:
"The National Restaurant Association strongly believes in the importance of providing nutrition information to consumers to empower them to make the best choices for their dietary needs.
"Under the federal menu labeling regulations, which the Association sought and supported, nutrition information will soon be available in more than 200,000 restaurant locations nationwide.
"We joined forces with more than 70 public health and stakeholder groups to advocate for a federal nutrition standard so that anyone dining out can have clear, easy-to-use nutrition information at the point of ordering—information that is presented in the same way, no matter what part of the country. From Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine, diners in restaurants will have a new tool to help them make choices that are right for them.
"We believe that the Food and Drug Administration has positively addressed the areas of greatest concern with the proposed regulations and is providing the industry with the ability to implement the law in a way that will most benefit consumers.
"We look forward to working with the agency as the implementation period begins and toward helping the industry adjust to the new rules. We appreciate the diligence the FDA took in understanding the complexities of how this regulation will impact the restaurant industry, and the patrons of restaurants all across the country."
The menu labeling law was passed in March of 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. It will require restaurant chains with 20 or more locations operating under the same brand to provide detailed nutrition information to consumers and display calories on the menu, menu board or drive-thru.